Sunday, January 29, 2012

Let your anger go!

Ken Faughn, will be sharing words of encouragement, inspiration and hope with you on today.

Ken says, "The following is my first attempt at a devotional that our church published for the holidays. Zula is a retired teacher and named in the devotional. Her husband is a prize and the 2010 volunteer of the year for his work with the Corpus Christ Police Department. They are also CASA volunteers."


New to a church family, and sporatic about attending church, I have thought many times how I missed important things because I failed to participate with others. I have been reminded regularly over the last several years by the First United Methodist Church -Robstown family of how important it is to participate with others in the plan that God has for us. What a blessing fellow Christians are, even with all of our failings. Far more important are the God given gifts we share with each other when we gather.

One recent Sunday morning we had a special guest Elizabeth and her daughter, Madison, in attendance. Sitting in the choir loft I observed that she was having some difficulty that was requiring her to leave to do something outside of the sanctuary, seemingly driven by the text feature of a cell phone.

Zula, one of God’s great gifts to the world, offers a children’s story each Sunday and this particular Sunday the group was joined by Madison. Referencing Ephesians Zula told a story of a young man who had difficulty controlling his anger and his grandfather who instructed him to go to the back fence each time he lost control and place a nail in the fence to represent his failure.

The young man followed the instructions and then asked what he was supposed to have learned with his effort. Grandfather told him he could now control his anger and each time he did he could remove a nail. When all of the nails were gone the young man again sought understanding of his effort. Grandfather explained that the hole left in the fence by the nails represented the hurt or pain he had caused people with his anger.

Zula gave each child a piece of wood with words from Ephesians Chapter 4 starting with verse 29... When you talk do not say harmful things, but say what people need-words that will help others become stronger. Then what you say will do good to those who listen to you.

And from Chapter 31-32...Do not be bitter or angry or mad. Never shout angrily or say things to hurt others. Never do anything evil. Be kind and loving to each other, and forgive each other just as God forgave you in Christ.

A small group went to lunch after church and I was privileged to sit across the table from Elizabeth, the young lady who was still dealing with that pesky text messaging that again took her away from the group while lunch orders were being placed. Upon returning with issues apparently resolved she was able to sit and enjoy the fellowship at the table.

At some point in the conversation she stopped and said “How Do They Know ?”

She began to describe the service and make special note of the children’s time and its impact on her morning activities even though she had missed the story. She explained that her anger had been escalating over the morning because associates had not completed tasks critical to the success of the afternoon. When she returned to the sanctuary from one of those calls, Madison was returning from the storytime with a piece of wood imprinted with words from the Bible about anger management.

Laughing I said that Jan, a close friend of hers also at the table and I had asked each other many times why every Sunday morning the messages seemed to be arrows aimed directly at our hearts.

The exchange was enjoyed so much that I retold the story several times over the next week and one day I was suddenly more aware of the answer to our question than I had ever been. It is not they who know but instead God who knows all and uses each and every one of us in his way to help others receive and understand the arrows that he sends our way.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Janice and Bud

Janice has graciously allowed us a glimpse into her busy life. We got an added bonus with a picture of Bud's latest project. The image you see below was enhanced with Photoshop filters. Sweet things!!

Janice Roden is a productive and busy person, and her skills in genealogy have helped many people. Here is what she sent me in answer to my questions about what was happening with her lately.

This first quote is from the link you will see in the fourth paragraph..."I've been doing genealogy for most of my life. I have always been interested in 'where I came from'. I have derived great pleasure in doing research and I am more than willing to pass on the information that I have. I usually self-publish "compilations" on various family lines. I donate them to the genealogical libraries, in order to insure that they might be of some help to other researchers.

Last year I finished my latest genealogical family book. That makes the 6th book I have created.

Each day I do indexing for the Mormons. I have indexed over 108,000 names. Of course that has been over several years.

I have also uploaded over 8,000 photos to the find a grave site. I always have to photoshop them before they are presentable:)"

Award Winner

Janice and Bud are very supportive of the State Fair here in Dallas. There is a special place in my heart for this type of community activity because my kids and I often participated in the State Fair of California when they were growing up. They both rode ponies in the 4-H Horse Show where they won much appreciated ribbons for their efforts. Also, one year we did a rather disastrous garden that was great fun but didn’t win anything.

Janice won 2nd place at the Fair for the following image. In this image you see her grandfather in the upper left corner. The watch in the middle of the collage, the brass knuckles and the spurs were his when he was a ranch hand on the Lazy S Ranch in Paducah, Texas in early 1900s. The doll was handmade by his wife who was also cooked for the ranch hands over an open fire.

This gem is an image of Janice's parents at the State Fair in 1930. When they were married she was 15 and he was 25 (he said he was 22 though)! The button and the pin came from the 1934 fair. The cup came from the 1940 fair.

Here are some familiar faces from the Texas State Fair and they won an honorable mention as well.

Here is the collage she won second place with in the 2005 Daughter’s of the American Revolution contest.

What a fun, wholesome way to share pictures about days gone by, our country, or the county fair itself!

More recent entries include images of Janice and her Grandson Carl. Below you can see what a difference a background can make!

Here is an interesting Special Effect. Of course, it helps to be a great hand at working with images the way Janice is!

And last but certainly not least below is an image of Bud's latest creation. If I was a bird, this is where I would want to come for dinner! It has a copper roof and four side feeders.

Many thanks Janice and Bud for sharing with us. These images are as big a treat as county fair corn dogs, roasted corn on the cob and cotton candy!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Make It Happen!!

All over the USA, Seniors are using their years of experience and knowledge to enrich their communities. We are looking forward to sharing the stories of some of these "make it happen" seniors.

Making it Happen at the State Fair

This is a post we put up in one of our past blogs. It is a great example of people getting involved to make fun things happen in their communities.

If you are new to the blog, this post will help you get to know these two special seniors. Friday we will catch up with them and find out what they have been up to lately...

In Texas, Labor Day doesn't just mean Fall is right around the corner. It also means the State Fair is coming. With so many people doing their small part to enter artwork, photography, baked goods, sewing projects, and so much more, the fair comes alive every year. My friends Janice and Bud Roden are two of those participants, and what they contribute is always extra special.

Janice submitted this marvelous collage done as a tribute to a dear friend of hers and placed 1st in the "computer enhanced photo" category.

Janice says, "My dear friend was named John Street. He was a Viet Nam Veteran and he worked religiously at the State Fair of Texas each year at the Viet Nam Memorial Wall. He was completely dedicated to it. He was awarded the bronze star for his conduct during that war. He was afraid of nothing. That is actually what killed him. He has only recently learned to ride a motor cycle, and was riding it one night WITHOUT A HELMET. He hit a deer and that was his down fall. I will always miss him. A wonderful patriot."

One of Bud's many talents is building birdhouses. He won 2nd place in the Creative Arts Project category for this charmer:

He won 4th place for his "little man" figure.

Charming, creative and fun, we congratulate them for their efforts!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Inspiring Words

Bill Witcher, co-founder of Computer School for Seniors, will be sharing words of encouragement, inspiration and hope with you on Sunday.

“Coach, what is success?”

John Wooden is a legend. He coached basketball for over forty years. He only had one losing season (his first). He led his UCLA teams to four undefeated seasons and a record ten NCAA championships, including seven in a row. Wouldn’t you say that is a successful coach? How did he do it? His coaching accomplishments are unbelievable and unparalled – “seven NCAA championships in a row!” Incredible.

In his book Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court, he said…

“I have often been asked when I first started dreaming about winning a national championship. Was it at Indiana State Teachers College or after I arrived at UCLA. Perhaps while I was a college player? I never dreamed about winning a national championship.

What I was dreaming about each year, if you want to call it that, was trying to produce the best basketball team we could be. My thoughts were directed toward preparation, our journey, not the results of the effort (such as winning national championships). That would simply have shifted my attention to the wrong area, hoping for something out of my control. Hoping doesn’t make it happen."

Mix idealism with realism and add hard work. This will often bring much more than you could ever hope for.”

“Success is peace of mind,
which is a direct result
of self-satisfaction
in knowing
you did your best
to become the best
that are you are
capable of becoming.

~John Wooden

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Beginnings

Over the last year I have had the privilege of getting to know Ken Faughn. I was his teacher and now I am his friend. He was a student and now he is a teacher.

When Maya Angelou said... "If you learn, teach. If you get, give."...she was talking about Ken. He volunteers in a senior center and teaches at his local community college. When I asked him if he would consider contributing to our blog, I was truly delighted when he said yes. So here is his first post...

My "new beginning" started with one of those light bulbs above my head.

I was working my way through the frustrations of dealing with service companies by deciding to use email instead of the telephone. I found that I could move the process forward over 1, 2, or 3 days time with a minimum investment of my time. Responses to emails came consistently within 24 hours of my inquiry.

I suddenly realized that if it was frustrating for me it must be really so for people who could not navigate a web site, find contact us, type an email or pay a bill online.

The new beginning got wheels when my research took me to see Deborah at the Greenwood Senior Center in Corpus Christi, Texas. An expression of doubt covered her face as I asked if I could help with her computer lab. “I can get back to you if you leave your name and number,” she said. I asked if her over 50 crowd was frustrated with utilities and others and she said, “When would you like to start”.

I will always be indebted to Deborah for allowing me to begin the experiences that have been so personally rewarding over the last 16 months.
I am looking forward to sharing with you on this blog what I have learned and been able to share with my students.

P. S. I have to take advantage of "bloggers bragging rights" and show you my other new beginnings, Presley, 8 years old, and Mia, 3 years old!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy 2012!

Here comes 2012! I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to this new year of opportunity!

“Another fresh new year is here . . .
Another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt, and fear,
To love and laugh and give!
This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest . . .
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!
I have the opportunity
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs!”
~William Arthur Ward

We will open the book. Its pages are blank.
We are going to put words on them ourselves.
The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.
~Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Glory to God in highest heaven,
Who unto man His Son hath given;
While angels sing with tender mirth,
A glad new year to all the earth.
~Martin Luther
Happy New Year Everyone!